Dirk Koetter Talks Peyton Barber & Doug Martin Not Being In 2015 Form

October 29th, 2017

On Friday, a Buccaneers fan asked former winning head coach Dirk Koetter about an issue and a question mark in the Tampa Bay running game.

As a man of the people, Koetter gave a detailed answer.

Calling in live on the Buccaneers Radio Network, the fan asked if Doug Martin’s 2017 inconsistency and not looking like his 2015 self is because he’s not in game-shape due to his September suspension, and the fan wanted to know if Peyton Barber is buried on the bench because of poor production.

Good questions!

Here’s Koetter’s verbatim response:

“No, Doug is in game shape, so I don’t think it’s related to his game shape,” Koetter said of Martin’s inconsistency. “You know, Peyton hasn’t gotten any touches because there’s only one ball and there’s only so many carries to go around. It’s not production-based; when Peyton’s got his chances, you know, he’s done fine. And Peyton is playing a significant role on special teams. (laughs) You know, you gotta remember, fans gotta remember, if your starting quarterback’s not doing well, they want the backup quarterback. If you’re starting running back’s not doing it, they always want something. ‘Give us more. Give us more. Give us more. Give us more.’ You know, coaches, I’ve never been around coaches that aren’t trying to put the guys they think are going to do the best out there. We have high hopes for Peyton. He’s a young player, he’s continuing to improve, continuing to learn. Right now he’s got more of a special teams role. That doesn’t mean his [rushing] role couldn’t be increased as we move forward.”

Intriguing layers of stuff there.

If Joe had to offer a simple translation, it would go like this. “Yeah, Martin isn’t very good but we don’t think Barber is any better.”

The Panthers defense is stout, and all-World linebacker Luke Kuechly is back on the field today. It’ll be a tough afternoon for Martin to get the running game jump-started given his declining skills.

37 Responses to “Dirk Koetter Talks Peyton Barber & Doug Martin Not Being In 2015 Form”

  1. Rrsrq Says:

    Run Martin 20times and he will get you 130, but you gotta be consistent and stick with it, even the line knows you’re gonna stick with it, they will block better

  2. Hodad Says:

    If Barber isn’t any better then Sims he should be off the team. Guess we’ll never know because there seems to be a love affair with Sims even tho he’s produced nothing during his Bucs career. I find it funny that Koetter talks about Barber like he needs more seasoning. He’s stuck on the bench behind three nothings while rookie R.B.’s are tearing up the league. You might want to see what he can do Dirk because Sims, Martin are at the end of their contracts, and Quizz is ready for the glue factory. Total incompetence from the G.M., and losing head coach Koetter.

  3. Bucfanrich Says:

    I agree with everything HODAD said !!!

  4. Aceofaerospace Says:

    I didn’t want the Bucs to put all their eggs in Drug Martins basket, but they did anyway. As a fan, I was hoping to be proven wrong. I’m still waiting.

  5. Mark2001 Says:

    Kind of hard to run Doug 20 times when it means 3 or 4 three and outs and you are down 3 TD’s.

  6. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    (RB prayer)

    Please God

    Please let Saquon barkley fall to the Bucs in the 2018 draft since we will be drafting in the Top 5 again.

    We need a RB…..we need a RB bad

    I swear God, if you make this happen, I will no longer make fun of or rip on GMC aka “Mr Softie”

    thank you.

  7. Bucnjim Says:

    Posted this earlier but kind of goes with this article

    Buccaneers Four loses:

    Minn/Tampa down 21-3 half
    Arizona/Tampa down 24-0 half
    Pats/Tampa down 13-7 half
    Buffalo/Tampa down 10-6 half

    This is going to effect how and when you are even able to run the ball. Also you can throw those garbage offensive stats out the window. In the four loses our offense scored a TOTAL of 16 points in the first half! That means Arizona scored more points in the first quarter of ONE game then the Bucs did in EIGHT quarters of football. This deserves a COME ON MAN!!!

  8. RootsCrew Says:

    RB’s vs Panthers this season:
    Hyde – 45 yards
    McCoy – 9 yards
    Ingram – 56 yards
    Blount – 67 yards
    Howard – 65 yards

    Panthers rush defense is ranked 5th. Does Howard have declining skills? McCoy? Hyde? You’re just so stuck in your “Doug Martin sucks” belief that you don’t even try to be objective. Doug has faced the 11th & 7th ranked rush defenses last two weeks all while running behind the 15th ranked run blocking OL. The next 4 games are against the 29th, 22nd, 3rd & 30th ranked rush defenses. Maybe crucify him if his rush avg sucks after facing those defenses? Just a thought.

  9. Mikadeemas Says:

    Yeah,but are you saying you can’t run the ball when you’re down by 4 and 6 points? I’m not saying we should, but if we had a running game, we could and should. Got dangit, GO BUCS!!

  10. Mitch Says:

    Peyton left his sophomore year of college so his family would not be homeless. The young man has shown grit and has earned an opportunity to play and develop in this league. Give him one more season of growth and watch him pound the rock!

  11. JimmyJack Says:

    We were gashing the Patriots with our run but Dirk called a one dimensional game. That still bothers me. Especially since our defense got us a pick and 3 and out to start the game yet we found a way to get destroyed in time of posession.

    Gotta take what the other teams give you in this league. Losing TOP is a theme here. Not a recipe for success when you defense is the worst in the league. Surely losing TOP is a big factor in our awful defense

  12. Not there yet Says:

    Yes that’s not a revelation of any kind. Martin isn’t playing well right now but regardless of the yards per carry stat you keep praying here he’s still the best back on the squad. Shame on licht for thinking dalvin cook was the only running back worth trying to trade up for. Glazer’s have done this for awhile so they know when a GM is doing a good job or not. We all saw this coming a mile away

  13. tmaxcon Says:

    Counting on a proven unreliable back who has been bad far more than good in Martin was another HUGE mistake by licht. Lichts mistakes are adding up fast. when your gm reaches for a 5th round midget clown with first round pick and pisses away the follow-up pick on a kicker it’s tough to compete

  14. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I’m of course cheering for the Bucs bigtime today. But I’m also concerned about a Panther player. Kuechely has now had three SEVERE concussions to go along with all the unreported “mini concussions” (bell rung) that NFL LB’s undoubtedly receive several times a year.

    I’m not a physician but my personal athletic experience and observations are that humans have brains riding in their skulls with varying protection. EG. In boxing many good fighters never got a shot at expressing their skills because they had what was euphemistically referred to as a glass jaw.

    I know it’s a really really dangerous line to debate…should NFL players be able to sacrifice their brains or does their come a time when the league has to say enough is enough. When you LOVE a sport and it’s been your entire life you don’t always make decent decisions for your long term health.

    I worry for Kuechely. I just don’t want to read his name in a headline 20 years from now after he commits suicide from the pain and emotional mess created by CTE.

  15. BucEmUp Says:

    Anyone with half a brain can see the defense is hurting all phases of the team and the running game is not excluded from that. Teams with the worst defense in the league usually don’t have good running game numbers. Teams know they can stack the box’s take away the run game let Jameis pass it in garbage time and that our defense will give the game away every sunday.

    Fix the defense and they make the playoffs. Soft coverage is killing everyone and it has a domino effect across the entire team even on offense. It changes the situations and make sit hard to pound the rock .

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    tmax…. I don’t think it’s only about Martin be cause they still have Rodgers who runs hard. They also aren’t keeping Barber on the roster for nothing. Sims is just a gadget player IMO.

    There’s only so many moves they can make each off-season and your not going to get propellers at every position. Not to mention they find draft a runner but he wasn’t good emough. They made the right call with OJ IMO. They could have drafted a RB there but went for the best player. TE plays a major role in this offense too, and they can win games with these RBs.

  17. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I know I’m not the only one who sees this.

    Our 1st & 10 running plays almost always get stuffed…..Martin or any Buc back has 3 Dlinemen on him at the handoff…

    We need to play action on 1st down (fake out the world)….and if incomplete….run on 2nd down.

    Either that or our Oline can’t run block..


  18. Lamarcus Says:

    I vouched for Martin. I see the signs. Although he not quite there but he is on his down the drain man. He lost a step. But I do appreciate him on the field. Those defenses still respecting him.

  19. Issic Haggins Says:

    Try and trade Martin for a sixth and you will not get a partner , that’s what the league thinks of Martin.

    So your GM and Coach are ????

  20. BoJim Says:

    Maybe Swaggy can run the ball, over to the buffet line.

  21. PRBucFan Says:

    As much as you beat the Martin drum, you fail to mention the lines lack of run blocking ability. If they don’t create lanes it doesn’t matter who the RB is.

  22. ruggyup Says:

    Still waiting for someone bold enough(desperate?) to spout, ‘time for a change, bring in Jim Harbaugh’. Hmmmmm maybe Bucs do need a touch of insanity to wake them up.

  23. I'm tired and 87 is right Says:

    I don’t care. At the game. Just f’n WIN!!

  24. firethecannons Says:

    At this rate we will be in the mix for Saquon

  25. LakeLand Says:

    Devonta Freeman had only 65 carries his rookie season under Dirk Koetter. The two seasons following Koetter, he had 491 carries.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    Either this week or next – Doug is going to have a big game (over 100 yds).


    Our Oline is built to run (allegedly) and DM is a very good NFL RB when healthy (which I believe he is 100% right now).

    Play action is Winston’s best friend and with the talent we have coming over the middle at TE – he will carve up defenses in the 15-20 yd range when the LBers are frozen for a second or even taking a step forward to start the play.
    But that all relies on the running game being a threat – and thus far in 2017 it has not been.

    This Bucs offense has been capable of exploding all season – but has yet to do it because the Oline hasn’t run blocked well enough to keep defenses honest.

    Dirk’s offense and Jameis Winston as a QB both need balance and the element of surprise/mismatches to operate at their highest level.

    Coach Koetter knows he has to do a better job of running the ball and calling runs at the right time. He will re-commit to the run over the next few games – and hope that the Oline can step up. As soon as the run game starts clicking – this offense is going to be a thing of beauty.

    Doug Martin will get the job done and then some if the Oline will open up a few legit holes for him to run through and get to the 2nd level.

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    Pickgrin… either this week or next year lol… i appreciate your optimism but dude pick another horse than a proven failure to make guarantees on you will be more credible in the long run.

  28. tmaxcon Says:


    how do you rationalize or conveniently forget the fact that martin has been bad more than good or do you just simply ignore it.

  29. Jimmyjack Says:

    Pickgrin has a point…..Last year we opened huge holes and Quiz ran all over Carolina. I don’t remember Carolina revamping their Dline this offseason so there’s good reason to say there are matchups we can exploit in the trenches once again.

    Carolina may be #5 in run stop but sometimes matchups hold more weight then rankings.

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    tmax – when our Oline has done a good enough job – Martin makes plays.

    The 2015 unit led by Mankins did one hell of a job opening holes most of the year and you saw the result. Hell even Sims had some nice runs between the tackles that year.

    It all starts up front. Oline doesn’t get the job done well enough and the RBs look ineffective. It happened the beginning of last year and too often throughout the 2016 season – and its happening again this year save for a few good running plays.

    This line needs to do a better job of run blocking – period! Any of our 4 backs are capable of running well if the Oline could only block consistently well.

  31. Jimmyjack Says:

    Another solid point pickgrin……..Nobody seemed to point to the loos of Mankins as a big deal because he was an unsung hero and the unquestioned leader on that front.

    While Martin misses some cuts and does leave yards at times how often did you see him trying to evade two or more defends before he hits the lines when Mankins was here?……..I’m not keeping a tally but I’m darn certain it a heck of a lot less then it was in 2015

  32. Jimmyjack Says:

    The pathetic thing is that each lineman we have currently is well known as being a run blocker…..Having a number one passing O is nice but our goal is playoffs. We will not ever achieve that led on an offensive unit if they are one dimensional.

    If this team can’t figure out how to run the ball fans need to accept that this offence is not nearly as good as claimed to be. It’s nice to put up points but you gotta beat playoff caliber defences to achieve the ultimate goal. One dimensional offence isn’t going to cut it…..not if that’s the true identity of your team….never has never will

  33. Pickgrin Says:

    To be fair – the 2017 Oline has seemed to improve in their pass protection. D. Smith has had a couple obvious whiffs but aside from a few breakdowns – the line has done a reasonably good job of protecting Winston so far this year.

  34. NFLNut Says:

    Kuechly should RETIRE! I’m NOT a Panthers fan at all but I can’t help but love Luke Kuechly and that’s primarily why I want him to retire … he seems like a great kid with a bright future ahead of him off the field … and I don’t want to see him turn into a mush-head or some CTE lunatic … I don’t even like watching him make a single tackle as I worry about the kid … maybe he reminds me of my son, I don’t know … they do sort of look alike …

  35. NFLNut Says:


    I expect us to draft a RB next year … Barkley, Love, Guice, Scarborough, etc … lots of talented ones available as always.


  36. Jacko101 Says:

    Koetter isn’t in 2015 form. Not Doug’s fault the playcalling is janky and predictable

  37. Gnawesome Says:

    Lol for all the calls to draft RB next year in the 1st round, like he’s going to play DE/CB too what team are you guys watching??? Honestly